It has been only in the last two years that I’ve had the fortune of having regular and varied conversations in German thanks to my boyfriend’s family.
This weekend we visited my boyfriend’s parents for kaffee und kuchen and to catch them up on our recent holiday to Barcelona. As my boyfriend described the amazing sight of Sagrada Familia and how busy it was inside Casa Batllo, I could easily follow and smile and laugh at the appropriate times.
I think it’s fairly common when one is learning a new language, skills in understanding is miles ahead of speaking and written skills. Well, this is the case with me for the most part.
I decided to be bold and add my own anecdote to this story. My boyfriend’s parents are patient and kind when it comes to me speaking in German and it’s only because of this that my confidence to speak has increased over time. However, this particular sentence I wanted to say was complicated and under the pressure of expectant looks, I just couldn’t work out how to simplify the sentence so I could say it in German and not lose the general point.
Looking to my boyfriend, I asked him to start me off. So he gave me the first word, which I repeated. I continued to stare at him, so he gave me the next word. And then the next. And then the next. Until we both realised that we were only two words away from a complete sentence and all I had done was repeat what he had said, word for word.
He hurriedly finished off the sentence for me and we laughed together at how ridiculous that was.
Sometimes, you just need a translator.